Image: 007. Mixed Media Assemblage.
THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COVID WARD.
From Bill Gates to 5G to Trump’s accusations of Chinese skullduggery, conspiracy theories have escalated during the pandemic. In a previous blog I discussed the thorny issue of privacy concerns regarding tracing apps. Big brother is getting bigger and 007 has a lot on his plate.
Professor Swami, ( a genuine professor, I promise) writing in CORDIS, the European Commission’s website, considers that he explosion of social media and internet platforms is also fuelling all these conspiracy theories. “But we also know specifically in terms of the coronavirus, that it’s spreading very rapidly,” he added. “There have been a couple of studies which have shown that you can map the spread of conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and they are spreading much more quickly than the actual virus itself.” Reasons for this are described by experts as: when people feel that their needs are not being met, when people do not feel secure and feel increasingly powerless, or when they feel the need to develop a sense of belonging to , perhaps to a group or doctrine which shares a collective ideology or identity. The latter often employs the blame game, where the ‘other’ is the cause of all our woes; a longstanding populist argument which has led to national unrest and serious global conflicts.
Fear and suspicion is not unexpected given the effect on people’s lives , and as time goes on without signs of improvement paranoia and perceived lack of personal control naturally increases. This leads, as is evidenced worldwide, to a growing lack of trust in those in charge of our destiny. There are no easy solutions to our ills, but transparency can at least act as a panacea, if not the whole cure.
“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself. Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, and humility.”